Tuesday, March 22, 2016

20.6 Just for Kicks

I completed 20.6 miles!!! I am much more confident about completing 26.2 miles now. Now for a race recap. I arrived in Ardmore on Sat. evening in time for the pasta dinner. I picked up my packet with out my 3/4 zip. They were apparently stuck in Egypt and will be mailed. I headed over to the pasta dinner next door. The meal was pretty good and there was a presentation about the history of the race.
I then headed out to check out Ardmore. I drove around a bit and decided to drive the race course. I headed north on OK 77 to Turner falls.
Turner Falls
I mistakenly headed down to the park entrance and had to drive through. I headed back up to the overlook and saw the site above. I am really looking forward to coming back here and exploring and camping. I am really glad the race started from the Overlook and not the park entrance. There is a definite elevation change uphill from the park entrance to the Overlook. After checking out the Overlook I head back to Ardmore and got some B&J vanilla bean ice cream to eat with my cookie I received from the pasta dinner. I also got an adult beverage. I may have accidently consumed the whole pint of ice cream. 

When I got back I sorted through my gear and prepared everything for the morning. I ate my dessert and watched Pitch Perfect 2 and HGTV. I headed to bed around 10 pm with a wake up of 5:30am. I didn't get the best night of sleep ever. My neighbors at the hotel were not very considerate. I put in my earplugs and did my best to ignore my nerves and the noise. 

In the morning everything went as planned. It was very chilly for the race start. I ended up wearing a long sleeve race tee with my bib holder over top. I had on compression toe socks and my good racing socks. I brought my jacket, gloves, and bandana as well. I was chilly at the start but more or less comfortable. At 7:30 am without much fan fair we were off to the races. 

The first part was in the Arbuckle mountains and there were a few hills. I started off at a pretty good clip but tried to keep my pace in check. I had bathroom issues about 3-4 miles in. Luckily there were plenty of bathrooms on the race course. I got back on the course and kept on going. The downhill part of the course was really cool for a geologist. I tried to read the signs to see what formation I was looking at while traveling down the hills. The next landmark was the Ranch around mile 6.5. I turned East and then South. I finally got to the turnaround point and started back North. Well the wind was coming from the North a little stronger than was expected. I would say 10-15mph. I made it almost the entire way back to the East-West road without stopping to walk. I just couldn't do it. I then headed up a nasty looking hill. I ignored it and kept on trucking. I at some point after this (past mile 11) had to go to the bathroom again!! I then figured out I may need a tampon....ugh. I had used one when I started and figured I would be fine since I would be finished in about 4 hours. Well I wasn't. I asked at every water stop after that if anyone had one. No one did. I got lucky though and someone found one and brought it to me on the course!! I heart race volunteers! I stopped around mile 16ish or so to use the facilities again. Around mile 17 the farthest I have run I just felt I couldn't keep running on my toes. My big foot was hurting probably from the downhill portion of the run. I tried running mid-foot but that didn't go so well. It is hard to change from fore to mid foot when I haven't trained that way. I tried power walking instead. I tried my hardest to keep up the pace. I was keeping a solid 12:30-13:00 min/mile while power walking. I ran once I got into the stadium and really pushed it the last .15 miles. I finished in 4 hours 16 minutes. I placed 2nd in my age group (out of 2 lol). I was very glad to be done.  
After the race I had to wait to get my medal. I ended up getting one from a local participant so they didn't have to mail it to me. I grabbed some food and warmed up under the heat blanket.

I did it!!
 Overall it was a pretty good race. I learned I need to be more aware of what I am eating before the race to avoid bathroom issues. I need to carry extra supplies if I think I will need them. Now I am sure I can complete 26.2 miles in 6.5 hours and can walk the last 6 miles if needed. Right now I plan on running as close to 11:30 min/mile. I would like to finish the race in 5 hours. But just finishing will be good.
I found a local running club that will be running the marathon course for 20 miles and will be joining them on that run. I am so close to the finish line.

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